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Poster: drspark61 Date: Oct 17, 2012 3:39pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Wah pedal on Keith's acoustic piano

I've been listening to a lot of fall '72, and I'm noticing something I've never caught before: wah-wah on Keith's grand piano. You can hear it on The Other One here at about the 16 minute mark:
http://archive.org/details/gd1972-10-24.sbd.miller.106018.flac16

It's also on the Birdsong from 9/21 Philly. Also probably on others I haven't noticed yet.

The timbre is definitely acoustic piano. Did they just run a wah pedal inline from the piano mic? Did they do this beyond '72? I'm trying to remember when the Fender Rhodes first appeared on stage.

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Poster: yesss! Date: Oct 17, 2012 11:22pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Wah pedal on Keith's acoustic piano

yep, keith appears to have had a wah pedal hooked up somewhere in his piano rig in late '72. the first show that i am aware of is 8/21/72 (dark star), but it may have shown up somewhere prior. i am guessing that they ditched it in '73 when they brought in the rhodes- which makes sense as it must have created some feedback problems- but, either way, it's pretty rare to hear an acoustic piano with wah. tons of keyboards were being sent through wahs and other filters in the early 70's (rhodes, clavinet, organs, etc), but i haven't heard much piano treated that way. love the effect, though. is beautiful on that 8/21 dark star.

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Poster: dark.starz Date: Oct 17, 2012 9:00pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Wah pedal on Keith's acoustic piano

Never paid much attention to this proposed feature and just might suggest Keith's interpretation of a Hammond B3 /w Leslie.

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Poster: nwgj Date: Oct 17, 2012 4:57pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Wah pedal on Keith's acoustic piano

Yes, but it's not the piano mic. Keith's piano had been fitted with a pickup, which apparently caused it's fair share of tech problems. The Fender Rhodes first appeared in May 73; not sure of the date, though. You can certainly hear it chiming out loud and clear on 5/26/73!

Keith's wahwah pedal is all over fall '72. It shows up in most Dark Stars and Other Ones (9/15 is a monster Keith-heavy Other One), and I wonder if a lot of folks don't mistake Keith's wah-heavy playing for Jerry. Keith was still using it in spring 73 shows -- the 3/31/73 Other One comes to mind.

This post was modified by nwgj on 2012-10-17 23:57:11

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Poster: Skobud Date: Oct 18, 2012 6:09am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Wah pedal on Keith's acoustic piano

11/17 TOO is a fine example of exactly what you are talking about as well. Amongst the very best ones out there imo - and Kieth-wah definately plays a huge part in that..

http://archive.org/details/gd72-11-17.sbd.warner.15982.sbeok.shnf

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Poster: drspark61 Date: Oct 18, 2012 9:39am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Wah pedal on Keith's acoustic piano

Thanks for the background info and for the show recommendations from you and everyone else.

I can see where a pickup in the piano would have been problematic, not to mention a total nightmare with the Wall of Sound configuration.

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Poster: nwgj Date: Oct 18, 2012 12:22pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Wah pedal on Keith's acoustic piano

I think it was a pretty persistent problem for them: you can hear it on the 7/18/72 sbd, which is marred by the noise coming from the piano pickup. My guess is that those July shows were when they first hooked it up -- I can't think of any Europe 72 or fall 71 shows where you can hear any piano wah.

The 12/11/72 Dark Star is another pretty deadly example: I think a lot of the skrunk you hear the post-verse craziness is actually Keith scraping his piano strings while working the wah pedal. 11/13/72 is another DS with some really nice wah effect on the piano.

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Poster: wineland Date: Oct 18, 2012 2:38am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Wah pedal on Keith's acoustic piano

5/26/73 Set 3 is one of my all time favorites to listen to, very likely my deserted island disc. The energy in Eyes gets me everytime. Love how Weir knows they are killing it when he exclaims "Yeah!" at around 1:30 into Eyes. I've wondered if that was pure excitement or a signal to kick off the jam. I like to think he was caught up in the moment.

http://archive.org/details/gd1973-05-26.sbd.miller.patched.83535.flac16